Storytime with Stidmama

Chapter Fifty Three

Storytime began at 9:12 pm game time on September 26, 2006

It was time for the kids to go back to school. Harvest was over and the village school, which had closed for the season was back in session.

Nan was not yet able to get up without help, let alone walk or function, but Andy, Polly, Meg and Doris were shooed out the door bright and early as the mist was just beginning to lift through the now bare branches of the trees.

Esmeralda would come by in the afternoon to check on Nan's progress, but she too had her duties, and the little shop had been left to Cathy for too long.

So Paul helped Nan get set up in the kitchen that morning, and Gilly and she talked all morning while they made bread for the next few days' meals.

Then he excused himself and went next door to do the chores that Adam was still unable to accomplish -- though the break in his arm was healed, some weakness remained. And it gave the men a chance to talk that both valued.

Mid-morning, Ava and Cathy showed up with handwork, and a present for Nan: her own needles and some pretty yarn for her to work with.

Nan knitted until her hands were tired, then entertained the others by reading from one of Andy's adventure books.

The light coming in the windows was golden, with the cold glow that precedes frosty nights and orange squash pies.

Toward mid-day, Adam and Paul wandered in and luncheon of fresh rolls and warm soup was served.

The morning's activity had tired Nan a bit, so Paul and Gilly helped her lie down for a nap after lunch. Then the adults sat around the table for a bit, enjoying the warm kitchen.

Esmeralda showed up while they were talking, and a conference was held.

It was obvious that Sebastian was not coming home any time soon -- Helena and Peter were going to need extra help come planting time.

Paul and Adam looked sidewise at Gilly and harrumphed. Gilly scowled at them before saying, "I know that Andy will be happy to help as much as he can. So will Paul."

Esmeralda nodded, her thin nose twitching with amusement. Paul smiled and rolled his eyes at Adam, shrugging as if to say "what did I tell you!"

Ava sipped her tea contentedly and elbowed Cathy.

"Mother wants me to ask when you think Nan will be ready to go back to school?"

Esmeralda's nose stopped twitching and she went a little pale. "I don't know," she shrugged, "the worst of the break is healed, but there is still something that's not healed properly. She should be able to return to school in the spring...'

Gilly watched Esmeralda carefully. "What about the things in the box?" she asked hopefully.

Esmeralda shook her head, "They're not meant for such injuries. The tinctures and potions in there are for common ills and simple injuries. I am afraid the only healer that will work is time."

"However," Esmeralda continued, "It will give us time to study a bit at home. Andy can bring home work from school and I can talk with her about the medical training she needs to start."

Gilly nodded, and Cathy patted the back of her hand. The sunlight came thinner through the windows, and Paul stoked the stove while Adam helped Ava into her coat.